History of BEAF
The Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation was created in 1991. The purpose to “fund programs and projects for the benefit of Bolivar R-1 Schools.” While independent from the Bolivar School District, BEAF adheres to the mission and goals of the district and uses tax-deductible contributions to support and enhance the excellence we have come to expect from Bolivar Schools.
The foundation is governed by a board of directors made up of seven community volunteers including an R-1 Board of Education member. The District’s Superintendent serves as an ex-officio member. The founding members of the Foundation included Kerry Douglas, Carolyn Roberts, Joan Woods, Morris Lawson, Jerald Andrews, JC Meador, Doug Roller and R-1 Superintendent Richard Trout.
The group hosted their first informational public meeting in October 1992. During the meeting, the organizers shared their vision for BEAF and the goal of raising $200,000 in the first three years.
BEAF’s first endeavors included purchase of the buildings that housed the Exceptional Pupil Cooperative and the Severely Handicapped School. In the early 90s, the District rented those facilities from private owners with the lease funds coming entirely from Special Education funding at the state and federal level. With the Foundation purchasing the building, the lease payments would be directed to BEAF instead and then reinvested back into the district.
In 1998, the Foundation constructed the new facility to serve the severely handicapped students with in the district. The building located at 1200 N Hartford is still in use by the district today as the home of the Bolivar Extension School, formerly the Bolivar Center for the Developmentally Delayed.
Throughout the years the Foundation has served as a philanthropic partner for the Bolivar School District providing additional funds to support educational programs, athletics, capital improvements, classroom needs and scholarships. Many of the items you see today in Bolivar Schools were purchased through BEAF funds - The audio system in the Bolivar High School gymnasium, the grand piano on the stage at Bolivar High, the trophy cases at BHS, stadium seats, bathroom upgrades at the Early Childhood building. More than $1 million has been gifted to the Bolivar Schools through the Foundation since 1991.
Twenty-five years later, the Foundation still plays a vital role as a partner of the Bolivar R-1 District. While projects may not be as large scale as a new building, the Foundation provides classroom grants, purchased iPads for the eighth-grade classrooms at BMS, band instruments, provides the funds for students who cannot afford dual credit fees and provides thousands of dollars each year to BHS graduates through scholarships.